Win :: Played on Sunday 11th September 2016
A fairly comprehensive win for Knockers to close the season. The sun shone as our bowling attack fired and our fielding excelled before Greg Pringhole carried his bat to an early finish.
Captain Spencer-Allen elected to bowl on a batting track safe in the knowledge that he had a bit of bowling up his sleeve. Ollie and Ed, the latter returning from his global wanderings, opened and they accounted for the Staplehurst openers between them.
Ollie produced several 'oofs' from LSA with the gloves as he and the slip cordon (amusingly including Lando) gradually gave themselves an extra few yards. It was a luxury the batsmen didn't have against his searing pace, getting swing to add to their discomfort. Ed initially tried a bit of baseball pitching while finding his feet.
Five overs in there was nine on the board and one wicket - Ollie bowling Perry. Ed was still working on his radar while Ollie bagged another with Finn claiming catch of the season at point. Smith seized upon a rare chance to open his shoulders and the ball rocketed over Finn's head as he nonchalantly raised a left paw. Eyes continued to the boundary only to return to him waving with the ball.
Ed was back next over. Two wickets in a maiden, the first claimed the remaining opener, Watts, who was shaping up nicely as Ed moved the ball off of middle to the top of the off stump, a ball that would have troubled anyone. Goodson held on for Ed's second before taking the ball off of him next over.
With the first change the hosts were 29-4. Ollie decided to send down a final over of as many styles of bowling as he could think of, giving way to Finn. The Rory/Finn combo continued to turn the thumbscrews with a testing line as the next nine overs went at around two a piece. Rory bowled Sturges with Staplehurst now 53-5 from 19 overs.
Debutant Gibb, one of the Stockwell Four that included Ollie, stepped in and took a wicket first over with his housemate Ollie snaffling the chance at mid wicket. Basham, another new Knocker, sent down six overs of sharp spin none of which was fortunately edged as Lynden had trouble holding on to him. The rest of the team had no such trouble as Finn, Ed and Greg all held on as Alistair claimed enviable figures of 6-3-6-3 and was the pick of the bowling with strong competition.
And then it came. Gez was on. He'd hit the stumps twice this season and still not got his maiden Knockers wicket. The batsman swiped him to square leg - who's there? Oh, it's Lando. Oh, he caught it! 104 all out.
The other two debutants opened for us following a tasty tea. Greg was all healthy forward play and thick edges, Nick preferred dismissive leaves and big heaves. The latter was bowled just as he looked to be settling and Knockers trundled Lando out to join Greg who the home side would regret dropping early.
The pair put on 89 for the second wicket, Greg finally middling one to bring up his fifty and then going at it to win the match. Lando propped up the other end while Pringhole worked his way through StapleHurst's ever changing attack.
Greg, now into his pomp, attempted hitting the house opposite the ground producing three beefy sixes, the last of which brought us home and onto a beer match which Knockers also won despite a late surge with the willow by Staplehurst.
A few jugs were enjoyed in the sun celebrating a fine end to the season. Winter well chaps.
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Finn Kinsler O'Sullivan